Thursday, 18 June 2009

I moved on again to Woodlands Primary School...

My new colleague Jackie Wilson, Director of Childrens Social Care for Leeds, and I were there to meet with Chris Walton, headteacher at Woodlands Primary School, Becky Ingram, headteacher at Oakwood Primary School, Alan Scott, headteacher at Brownhill Primary School, and other colleagues from the schools, NHS Leeds and Children's Social Care. We were there to discuss concerns colleagues had raised with Rosemary Archer, Director of Children's Services, about the support these schools were receiving where they had concerns about safeguarding and child protection issues. The meeting was really useful as a way of highlighting the challenges schools face being on the front line of the Children's Services world.

We agreed that we need to review our systems, resources and capacity to ensure that we understand and build on the work colleagues in schools are doing to protect and safeguard children while at the same time driving our work on standards and outcomes. We must ensure that every contact is seen and responded to as a request for help and support assuming that our colleagues in our schools have tried everything they can to address the challenges facing our children. These are not issues necessarily for our colleagues in Children's Social Care since most of the problems we face are issues around the adults in our childrens lives. We must therefore work with colleagues in Adult Services to ensure that we all work together to protect our children.

I would welcome colleagues suggestions regarding the way ahead.

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